Veterans Day is a time to be thankful for the men and women who have served or serve in our military. I am taking this opportunity to share why Veterans Day is important to me.
I have never served in the military, so sometimes I feel a bit “hollow” in comparison to those who have committed their lives—past and present—to our armed forces. There are other occupations where people put their lives on the line for others; however, the military is the biggest commitment one could make, in my opinion.
Several of my friends from high school are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have made sacrifices; they had to leave spouses and children behind and military life is taking a toll, both physically and emotionally. When I think about my life with a safe home to go to, spending time with family and friends etc., I am thankful. I am not in the desert maneuvering in 130-degree weather, having to watch out for snipers, land mines, a “human bomb” or experience the post traumatic stress that our men and women serving in the armed forces are facing today.
I am also grateful to those who have served before: people like Mayor Reed, Councilmember Forrest Williams, numerous city employees, relatives, neighborhood residents who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam and many others. People who served have many stories to share. Sometimes the stories seem unbelievable, then you hear a similar story from another veteran and soon you realize that life in the military is like no other.
I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to grow up in San Jose free from warfare that so many other people in this world have endured. Our quality of life is due in part to the sacrifices that men and women made by entering the military many years ago to travel overseas to keep our country safe. One way to honor our veterans is to attend the annual Veterans Day parade downtown. When veterans see high attendance it makes them feel proud of their service. Please consider attending the parade next year.
On this Veterans Day, I am thankful for all the veterans and the commitment they endured. I am hopeful that the war will end soon so that those who are still with us can return to their families and friends.
Just for today, perhaps we put aside the small stuff that we normally worry about and realize that we are lucky. Lets be thankful for those who have served before and for those who are serving now and appreciate our special place in the world: San Jose.